Top 10 Best Practices to Consider Before Implementing SharePoint

1. Consider and then reconsider. SharePoint provides a plethora of functions used to build different types of solutions. Organizations should have a clear vision as to what role SharePoint will fill in the workplace and plan the install accordingly.

2. This is an essential step in the install process. The old adage “first impressions are everything” carries a lot of weight with end users…they are more likely to use the site if it is ascetically pleasing.

3. Protect public area from user customization using the built-in security. The intranets should be designed to reflect the company look/values. Your team sites may be more in flux, and they are a great place to experiment with new web parts and functionality.

4. Configuration rather than customize. Companies can accomplish approximately 90% of the needed site functionality through the use of OOB (out of the box) readily available web parts and through features such as custom lists and views.

5. Grow accustomed to the way SharePoint works OOB. Customization is tempting, especially if your organizations IT department has application developers, be cautious – generally, Microsoft will not support customized installs of SharePoint.

6. Training. End users need it. System administrators need a lot of it. Microsoft offers extensive technical documentation available on its website http://www.microsoft.com

7. Implement parts of SharePoint in phases so Admins and end-users alike have time to let the new functionality sink in and learn to use it effectively.

8. Disaster Recovery. PLAN FOR IT. Test backups. DOCUMENT tweaks and configurations done to your SharePoint server. Also, practice a couple times a year a disaster recover scenario using virtualized servers (VMWare or Virtual Server).

9. Production systems should not be virtualized.

10. Poll users for feedback about the system. This will give you valuable insight into what is working and what is not for the end users.

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~ by Neha Sinha on April 1, 2008.

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